Nov 26, 2009

I've Been Thinking

The following would be considered a rambling discussion by critics, so be warned. I use a lot of words that could make your head hurt if you can't handle it. Reader discretion is strongly advised to those that can't handle it.

I've been thinking. Is television, as my generation and the generations before mine knew it, coming to an end? I know we're in a new digital era where those without special sets or converters to watch television over the airwaves can't watch without the use of cable/satellite/fiber-optic services. That not what I'm talking about. I guess you've all heard that NBC Universal, or at least most of the company, may become part of the Comcast family in a matter of months, provided they could get a deal straightened out and overcome trade obstacles. There are also strong rumors that the NBC television network may end up becoming a cable-only outlet somewhere down the line as a result of the, opening up the possibility that the other three major broadcast channels could also go in that direction.

If that's the way television is headed, that we're going to have to pay to watch it, then that kind of sucks. I mean, unless something like Sezmi takes off where consumers pay a severely lower fee for services, television may belong to cable companies, which could now be counted on one hand. And that will, unfortunately, include broadcast over-the-air channels as well.

There is comfort in knowing that if I don't have cable services I can watch shows on television. It's a comfort that a lot of people, especially those addicted to cable television, don't appreciate until the time when the cable goes out because of storms, service outages, or when the cable system terminates the service for financial reasons. But if a broadcast network becomes cable-only, what would become of those affiliates that would be no more? Will they embrace a new syndication model that should have happened the moment that The WB and UPN merged but didn't thanks to Fox's hastily-assembled My Network TV venture or will they crumble and wither away or become nothing more than an infomercial outlet that nobody will watch? I'm afraid it'll be the latter.

That's a question nobody's asking in light of the possible Comcast-NBC merger. Either that, or the question isn't being asked loud enough. But it is a question that I've been thinking about lately. I just don't want to see free television go away, and I feel Comcast's handling of NBC may be the first step in the complete destruction of broadcast and free television.

Oh, you say you have internet "television?" Well, who do you think own the broadband lines?

Read more about the subject at a better site than mine.